The meeting place of any two adjoining rails in a railway track is known as rail joint. Rail joints are necessary to hold together the adjoining ends of the rails in the correct position.
Rail joints from the weakest part of the track. It is observed that the strength of a rail joint is only 50% of the strength of a rail.
10 Requirements Of An Ideal Rail Joints
The following requirements should be met by an ideal rail joint:
1. Both the adjoining rail ends at the joint should remain true in line both laterally and vertically when the train passes over the joint.
2. The rail joint should be as strong and stiff as the rail itself.
3. It should be elastic both laterally and vertically so that vibrations and shocks can be absorbed.
4. It should provide enough space for free expansion and contraction due to temperature variation.
5. It should facilitate easy removal and replacement of rails without disturbing the whole track.
6. It should not allow the rail ends to get battered in any case.
7. It should be economical in its cost of construction as well as maintenance.
8. Joints ought to be universal type so that they can be utilized for all kind of sleepers.
9. It ought to give protection from longitudinal forces created because of increasing speed(acceleration), deceleration to reduce the creeping effect.
10. It should be enduring.